Belfast Telegraph

Charles congratulated on Archie’s birth as he visits Co Fermanagh

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attended a garden party at Castle Coole.

The Prince of Wales attended a garden party at Castle Coole (Liam McBurney/PA)
The Prince of Wales attended a garden party at Castle Coole (Liam McBurney/PA)

The Prince of Wales greeted a well-wisher in Co Fermanagh with a broad smile as she congratulated him on his newest grandchild.

Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were given a warm welcome on the second day of their visit to the island of Ireland.

Charles and Camilla attended the annual garden party of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, which took place at Castle Coole on Tuesday.

DUP leader Arlene Foster and PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton were among the welcoming party which greeted them.

Charles and Camilla spoke to guests on Castle Coole’s front lawn, where more than 1,000 people queued for the chance of a handshake and held aloft camera phones to try to capture the moment.

One woman received a broad smile from Charles as she congratulated him on the recent birth of his fourth grandchild, Archie.

The royal couple signed the guest book and received an approving round of applause before leaving for their next appointment.

Meanwhile, outside the gates of the stately National Trust property, a small group of people protested at delays to compensation for child victims of clerical abuse in residential homes overseen by the state.

This is the first time in 11 years that the Secretary of State’s annual garden party has been held at a location other than Northern Ireland’s royal residence, Hillsborough Castle, and is the first time it has been held at Castle Coole.

The mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh, Uel Mackin, was among the guests at the garden party. He had previously met Charles just a few weeks ago, ahead of the re-opening of Hillsborough Castle.

“Attending this event has been a wonderful way to approach the end of my term as mayor,” he said.

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The Duchess of Cornwall speaks to guests during the garden party (Liam McBurney/PA)

“I met His Royal Highness before, at Hillsborough Castle, when it reopened in April. He is more friendly in real life than maybe he comes across in the media, and one thing that struck me is his sheer knowledge of what is going on around him.

“He is the heir to the throne and that does make him unique, even among the royals.

“I am a passionate lover of all things royal, and I say that without any shame. I think they are a wonderful family and they bring so much to our nation.

“Without them, I think we’d be a very different place. They play a very special role, and often the benefits of what they do are not seen.”

Jim Chestnutt, general manager of Castle Coole was also delighted to welcome Charles and Camilla.

“It’s been a very special and exciting day, wonderful to see the sun shining on a special day for Fermanagh, the National Trust and for Castle Coole and all our wonderful volunteers here,” he said.

PA

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